United States v. Senke

In United States v. Senke, the defendant challenged his conviction, raising four issues. First, he contended that the District Court should have inquired into his motions regarding trial counsel’s performance. Second, he asserted that the District Court erred when it failed to verify that he discussed the presentence report with counsel. Third, the defendant took issue with several special conditions of supervised release. Finally, he argued that a special assessment fee was erroneously imposed. The 3rd Circuit affirmed with respect to the first two issues and vacated concerning the second two. The 3rd Circuit held that, under United States v. Diaz, 951 F.3d 148 (3d Cir. 2020), the District Court abused its discretion when the Court failed to address the defendant’s complaints regarding his counsel. However, because the defendant did not attempt to show that he was prejudiced, the 3rd Circuit could not grant relief on the claim as framed.  The claim should be made under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The 3rd Circuit next concluded that the defendant was not prejudiced by the District Court’s failure to verify on the record that he and his attorney discussed the presentence report before imposing sentence. Finally, the District Court committed plain error when the Court imposed: 1. the special conditions of supervised release, which banned the defendant from using a computer and the internet, and 2. the special assessment fee.

CHARLES-J.-SENKE